Chris Ferguson Piloted America’s Last

chris ferguson piloted america’s last
Boeing is known for airplanes but they actually have a long history in space. Since NASA’s beginning, Boeing has been a contractor on every manned space program including building the parts for the International Space station.

Boeing has been in human space flight from day one and so it’s just part of our core.

NASA is hosting a competition for private enterprise to build a spacecraft to transport humans to the International Space Station; winning this contract would cement dominance in the new space race.

We see this as just the next huge opportunity for Boeing and for NASA.

How big do you expect the market to be?

The development price itself is such a huge barrier, just a very different business model than Boeing is used to; our huge development programs are typically centered around commercial airplanes, military aircraft, where there is a lot of orders and right now the foundation of the business is two flights a year.
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And Boeing hopes that those flights would be made in their CST 100 capsule; their weldless design makes aircraft stronger and lighter than traditional models.

I’m already getting inside this Space capsule.

All right, well come on in.

How many astronauts will fly in this capsule?

Right now we’ve configured it to fly up to five but the CST 100 is designed for up to seven. We have the significant experience obviously in capsules from Mercury and Gemini Apollo. The capsule was an easy decision.
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What about comfort? Isn’t this exactly the most comfortable position I have ever been in.

No, absolutely, but because of the potential with different anomalies, you could have a very rough landing. We needed to make sure that this design would satisfy even the roughest potential landing.

Chris Ferguson piloted America’s last shuttle and his new mission is to get Boeing’s commercial space program off the ground. This is the simulator for the CST-1OO?

Yes, this is gonna be what we call our engineering simulator.

How similar is commanding a spaceship to piloting an airplane?
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Well, if you sit here and you look at this cockpit and say, “Wow looks like I am in a fighter airplane.” Boeing has been building fighter airplanes for decades so we were able to take a lot of the expertise and actually involve a lot of the people who designed these cockpits and make them a part of this right here.

Do you think that that lineage in history gives Boeing a leg up over their competitors?

I would like to think so. Of course, Boeing was the prime contractor to build the space shuttle.
chris ferguson piloted america’s last

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